Office 365 & SharePoint Users: Wait or Upgrade to Windows 10?

SharePoint people around the world are asking themselves this question. Should I wait or should I upgrade? Windows 10 brings a lot of improvements to desktop productivity and Microsoft’s push to target Windows 10 far and wide led to millions upgrading on day 1 of it being available. Those using Office 365 and SharePoint have heard rumors that drag and drop doesn’t work on Microsoft Edge browser. Is that enough to hold up your upgrade plans? For some it already has been enough to scare them off. Some are looking for any reason to delay upgrade.

Five Windows 10 benefits for SharePoint and Office 365 users…

  1. Login improvements to Azure Active Directory for Office 365 – There is great potential for eliminating the continuous prompting for authentication for logging into Office 365. Most organizations using Office 365 with an on-premises Active Directory (AD) will synchronize their directory with Azure AD. These improvements alone can create a seemless experience for creating much richer desktop integration with OneDrive for business and quick seamless access to email. The great part of this is with Windows 10 login to you’ll join Azure AD to enable single sign-on (SSO) to Azure AD-integrated services. The ultimate goal of single sign on gets one step closer for the enterprise cloud with this component of Windows 10. Note it must be configured and when done properly this is typically setup during the install process of Windows 10. TechNet describes this as bringing the cloud to the desktop: “Choosing the first option (This Device Belongs To My Company) and clicking Next leads to a dialog box that prompts you to set up “your work or school PC.” That dialog box is intended for Azure Active Directory credentials, such as those linked to an Office 365 account.” As well just because you’re getting a good experience with the cloud doesn’t keep you from getting a decent Single Sign on for On Prem.
    Windows 10 PC’s and tablets that are joined to Azure AD will also provide SSO to on-premises resources when connect to the corporate network and from anywhere with the Azure AD Application Proxy.

  1. Automatic MDM enrollment. Windows 10 PC’s and tablets can be automatically enrolled in an organizations device management solution including Office 365 Mobile Device Management including InTune as part of joining them to Azure AD. You can control the messaging, a logo to support enforcement with a friendly management experience, including free text such as contact info and phone numbers for support. There is also support for 3rd party MDMs.

  1. Windows 10 Unified Sync Client for OneDrive – Improvements to sync have only just begun with OneDrive and OneDrive for Business in Windows 10. Once you login with your MSAccount you’re really setting your hooks and configuring the synchronization settings. Configure it to sync as little or as much as you’d like. If you want to keep what is in the cloud, “in the cloud” then uncheck all the sync options. What you get in the box isn’t the last word on sync. I’ve already seen this on Jeff Teper’s list of Top priorities. (Don’t let me oversell this. This is still not yet what it should be, but this is an ongoing investment. I’ll let you know when I think this is fixed.)
  2. Recent Documents includes SharePoint and Office 365 docs – One of the improvements that begins in Windows 10 but also continues with Office 2016 is the concept that cloud doesn’t start outside of the desktop. Now documents you’ve worked on in the cloud will be in your recent documents in nearly all native apps. It gets even better in Outlook Mail when using attachments as they now have little indicators to show where they are coming from such as OneDrive for Business in SharePoint or Office 365. The cute little cloud is a nice touch and may definitely encourage users to be less scared about saving a document to SharePoint or OneDrive.

Figure: When attaching items SharePoint and OneDrive and OneDrive for Business all show up with the Cloud as part of the Icon.

  1. Touch and Responsive Apps – Tablet Office 2016 – If you want your users to get use to the new world of Office 2016, one of the best ways to introduce them to the new productivity features of Office is through Windows 10. Your older versions of Office work just fine on Windows 10, but the native windows productivity apps behave like the Office 2016 ones will. As well the tablet based touch version of Office 2016 has shipped with Windows 10…

Figure 2: Notice the menu on Word 2016. The ribbon and menu items try to continue to be useful even at very small resolution.


Taking Notes on MS Edge browser and putting them in OneNote and saving that to OneDrive for Business in Office 365 is probably one of my favorite reasons to upgrade, but the Edge experience on SharePoint is fine as a reader or casual browser, but not so great when working with SharePoint as a contributor. In my follow up post I’ll show you the real deal and pit Chrome against MS Edge, IE 11 and Firefox. On Windows 10 there is today a clear winner when using SharePoint or Office 365 and you may be surprised.

The jury is still out on whether you should upgrade. I think it is time for early adopters, but I also think Microsoft has some work to do to support Drag and Drop as well as Datagrid with MS Edge. Do that at a minimum and we’ll call the calvary to start pushing for Windows 10 upgrades. Otherwise you’ll have an exodus to Chrome. Microsoft also needs to get a better handle on ensuring IT is control of the patching situation. Impromptu updates can be a nightmare.

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